Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Don't steal my life, get your own ;o)

Hello and Good Morning. The weather has turned chilly and I am wrapping up more. The heating will not go on just yet, probably another month or two before it gets really cold. We are heading towards the end of the month again, they fly by, don't they. Only three more months left to the end of the year. How's your walking going? I am on 779 at the moment, had a boost this month with the Yorkshire trip and Ranger Ramble. I have passed the September target of 749, now heading for the October target of 832. Put your best foot forward and lets all have one last surge, let's do our best. 
Need a quick topic for today's post, so I'll answer an email here, thank you L for sending this, it has given me an idea. 
I think my life from the outside is too boring, I love your blog and like reading about other people. 
I meet up with the same people every year, a Belgium couple,loads of French etc. all who escape their cold countries to wait it out where I live. We walk our dogs,talk, swim,eat, drink. But nothing to write home about. In the mean time I'll follow you.
Doesn't it cost to blog? How do you do it?
Hi L. Your first sentence makes me want to shake you. Your life from the outside is too boring? Nothing to write home about? C'm on, surely it's not that bad. Every day activities can be made very exciting, with a few ideas thrown in. The activities you list sound pretty much OK, dog walking is fabulous, the joy that dogs give is far better than anything else. Talking to people is great, I do it all the time, sometimes for too long. I witter on a bit, but I always feel great after a brilliant conversation with like minded folks. I enjoy talking to strangers, people have fascinating lives when you ask questions. 
I like eating nice food, and the food I make myself is the best. Mixing and matching different ingredients, trying new ideas, making up recipes, is never boring. Stuff the conventional, invent your own new recipes. I don't drink much alcohol, I keep it as a treat. If I supped the stuff until I was sozzled, it would probably be very boring, and expensive. Again, mix and match, preferably non alcoholic low sugar drinks made with fresh fruit. 
Swimming I can't do, and I have no desire to, it does not appeal to me one bit. If you like swimming think of ways to spice it up a bit. Set targets, pool parties, design and make your own costume, fancy dress swimming. Outdoor activities I love and I never get bored with going for a walk, and looking around places. 
L, do not accept that what you have is all you are ever going to have. Same every year? Well change it, do something different, and then you will have something to write home about. If you keep yourself busy with new ideas, you won't have to follow me, you will have a life of your own.

The rest of the post is for everyone, read it if you like, I hope it helps. 
I don't very often tell my readers what they should be doing, but today I will make an exception. My life is my life, not your life, you have your own life. You must decide what you want to do with it, you must make up your own life, not copy mine. You are not me and I am not you. 
Anybody that feels they have a humdrum life........
'I want you to open your eyes in the morning and say to yourself, 'That's great, I have been given another day, I'll  take a few minutes to decide what I want to do with it. In 24 hours I will wake up to another new day, so I don't want to look back and think, that was a waste, I did nothing.' 
Ok, so if you are struggling a bit, things not going right, you will think that this is a load of tosh and will never work. That's up to you, but at least give it a try. We are approaching winter, a time when Seasonally Affected Disorder can sometimes creep up on us. Now is the time when we can takes steps to fight it. Our bodies need daylight, so go outside every day. Look for things to do outside, even for an hour or two. 
I know it's hard to get motivated sometime, I've been there, never suffered depression but have been very fed up at times. What I've learnt is that things never seem so bad after a nights sleep. Every morning I wake up refreshed and looking forward to a brand new day. My trick? I willed myself to become content with my life, and the older I get, the more content I become. I have brainwashed myself to be happy. If I am bored, I change things. No matter what is going on around me, what other people are doing, I am not them and they are not me. 
I get emails from people saying they wish their life was more like mine. Well all I can say to that is buzz off and go and get your own life. Sorry if that offends but that is how I see it. I write this blog because it's about how I live my brilliant life on a pension. I am happy that you come along and share the journey, I like company. What I don't want anyone to do is stay on the bus and forget to get off. There are plenty of stops along the way, hop off the bus and do your own thing.   
This quick topic has turned into a saga, so I'll get off and do something else. Before I go, I'll answer the questions, Doesn't it cost to blog, and how do I do it? 
All it costs me is £4 a year which I pay to goooglie to upload loads of photo's. There is a ceiling on how many you can post and I reached that after about three years. So now I pay them a piddling amount to carry on. The other cost is time, loads of it, but as I am in control of my time, I can allocate as much or as little as I like.  
How do I do it? Not sure if you mean how do you get started with blogging, or how do I keep it up for so long. To get started you click the 'B' icon, top left hand corner, and it takes you to the home page, and follow instructions. Blogging encourages me to write, and writing is creative. it satisfies some of my creative juices. If you want to become proficient at anything it's best to do it as often as time allows. If I didn't do anything all day I would have little to write about, so it encourages me to find things to do, to keep busy with what interests me. If you don't feed your brain you get nothing back, same as if you don't exercise and eat rubbish food, your body will deteriorate. 
Right, really must go, brain down time, want to do something practical. Thanks for popping in, now go away and do something new, and come back later or tomorrow to tell me what you have done. 
Toodle pip 

29 comments:

  1. In the past I've decorated the house between the clocks going back and up to christmas, it passes the days on and you finish early each day as the light goes, also do the spring cleaning/de-cluttering in the winter months after christmas, up the clocks going forward again, no point cleaning in the spring time wasting time stuck in the house when you could be out gardening/walking etc. In answer to the person's question, does your town have a library or local tourist information, visit your own town as though you are a tourist, museums, cafes, local shops that you don't normally visit, Jo x

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  2. Read books, have a wander around your neighbourhood, do some sewing or painting/sketching (what do you fancy?), go to a museum (try on some of the costumes/hats that some museums have to give you an idea of how you'd look in the past - great fun). Switch your furniture around - give yourself a new aspect on what you look on everyday. Care for a pet. Have a wander around the library and choose something that you wouldn't normally go for. Have a look at the news - there are some awfully sad places in the world - perhaps volunteer for an organisation that would love your time. Why not sew/knit for little children overseas that haven't got very much. Go to a coffee morning. Find your own thing. Best wishes and hope things get better. Natalie

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  3. Bravo! Time is so precious and some of us take it for granted and need a poke in the bum ! I am now 60 and expected to do so much more by now but due to 2 adult sons with problems it hasn't happened and that is about to change. my husband has taken early retirement which frees me up to do more and I have a list of things I want to do , can do , and have a go at doing! My Father has cancer and does not have long to go ,it is devastating but he refuses to give up, he does what he can and even what he can't, he relishes every minute and continues with his interests and his only complaint is that he's hungry ( the cancer is in his throat, oesophagus and stomach so eating is agony and difficult ). I hope the Lady who wanted your advice, takes it as you have given good advice , we all have the capability to do something with our lives to fulfil and occupy our time, it's just finding what makes us happy and is doable and somebody's fun might well be somebody elses nightmare, me --- couldn't do golf!! All that way to hit a ball just to go and find it again ! x

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  4. [A little harsh maybe to what I see as a compliment]. But you are right of course. And it works the other way round. I sometimes look at other people's life and think that would bore me silly, but it is their lifestyle and their choice. I'm sure my life would seem boring to others but I have things going on that excite me. I wonder if your emailer was asking for advice about starting a blog and curious if anyone would be interested in her life!? The answer from me would be a definite yes. What is humdrum and everyday to you may be interesting and educational to everyone else. Example, baking bread (boring if you do it everyday, fascinating if you have never tried it before).

    Ilona. I have sometimes looked at your thrifty ways and have been inspired to copy you particularly with upcycling. You have also inspired us to become a veggie family. There are times I think 'what would Ilona do?'. But I wouldn't want to be you, as I am sure you wouldn't want to be me. You have a nice following here which I think is down to your gift for writing and your charisma. Inevitably you will get a few people who will want to emulate your way of life - that is how people learn. They observe, try things and work out if it is for them or not.

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    1. I agree with Deborah W ... I sometimes think of you, Ilona, when I might have left the tap running while I brush my teeth and suddenly think, Ilona wouldn't do that!
      Margaret P

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    2. Me too! Ilona is usually with me each morning when I brush my teeth and remember to turn the tap off :-) I have learnt a lot of little joys in life from you Ilona - keep up the good work.

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  5. We are all unique - thankfully, otherwise life WOULD be a bore. I would say, if things are getting hum-drum do something new. As has been mentioned, if you have a few hours to spare, what about voluntary work? You'd be doing something helpful and meet new people. A new hobby - I enjoy Ilona's craftwork but can't thread a needle myself, but still like visiting craft fairs etc. Planning days out that don't cost a fortune would be another good option; many places don't charge or minimal amount depending on circumstances and age (and use Ilona's advice - take your own food and drink and save a king's ransom!). The internet can inspire with new ideas too so get googling. By the way, I have a strict rule: unless there is a harsh weather spell I don't turn on my heating until the clocks change in October (and sometimes later) and again, switch off in March when clocks change again (unless it's mild). I have to confirm that my heating is not on 24 hours a day - a blast and that's it!Amanda x

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  6. How can anyone be bored in this day and age when there is so much to do ... as you have already suggested, such as dog walking, even swimming ... I don't swim, either, Ilona, but I can claim to never being bored. I love my home, I love to keep it clean, I read widely, I do my writing for magazines, I choose which TV progs to watch sometimes recording them so that when it's a dull evening on the box I have something on hand to watch, I love to walk by the sea or if someone doesn't have the sea close by, then countryside or even around a town or park. I'm not a crafts person, I can't sew or knit, but I love to cook and even if I were on my own, I think I'd be cooking for sons and their partners or even for some kind neighbours, it's lovely to give someone a cake unexpectedly, say, if you are baking make an extra one for someone special. If you don't have many friends, then go out and find some! Visit your library, visit a nice café, chat to people, I even made conversation with someone today in Specsavers - we had a good laugh choosing new frames as neither of us could see them without lenses in! Also, always dress as nicely as you can, I say. If you drip around in sloppy pullover and jeans and old socks each and every day you will feel a wreck. I do a full make up once I'm up and showered and my hair washed and dried (I wash it in the shower every morning because it would stand on end otherwise as it's very short!) and do your nails if you like to wear nail polish. Keep a notebook of things that give you joy, be thankful you've even woken up, I say! I don't like the long winter evenings, but I'm certainly not going to allow them to blight my spirit for 6 months, I will get out each day if I can, not just to shop, but smell the fresh air. I love your blog, Ilona, you have given this person some very good advice. On the other hand, we can't help our nature. You have a positive attitude to life, as I have; some aren't as fortunate, sadly. I would also say I have the love and support of a dear husband and family, so perhaps I might feel differently if I lived on my own. Who knows, but right now the days just aren't long enough to do all I want to do!
    Margaret P

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    1. Your life sounds very busy, Margaret. Thanks for all the good ideas. I love to have a quiet hour in our library. It took me nearly an hour to walk to the church and back today, and it's only two minutes away. I stopped to natter to three people, two I hadn't spoken to before and one I know but haven't seen for a while.

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  7. I love the title you have given this post.

    For the past few months I have been inundated with questions for specifics about virtually everything we do, as though folk are wanting to copy the real nitty gritty of how we live. I don't mind giving general tips, help and advice but it's been going deeper than that just recently. People either wanting to copy for themselves or saying how much they wish they could live like we do and will I tell them exactly what products I buy, use etc. Sometimes I feel like shouting at the computer screen, 'then just bloody well do it, but do it YOUR way and don't spend a fortune doing it'.

    It's the same with the so called 'celebrity culture' whatever the so called celebs wear, do or say is copied, sold and pushed to extremes and people just spend money they haven't got on emulating people they don't even know.

    We all live pretty different lives and that is the real beauty of life, doing things in a unique and different way is good. Individuality is to be treasured and admired, but I fear it's a dying thing.

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    1. Hi Sue, Your comment made me chuckle. thanks.

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  8. The key to the whole thing, for me, is to live in gratitude. I am below the poverty line here in the US but I am in the top 12% of the world's most wealthiest people. What does that mean? I have a warm, dry safe place to rest my head each and every night. I get to eat everyday. I get medical care when I need it. I have a vehicle to run around in whenever I feel like it. To count my blessings everyday sure helps at keeping depression at bay.

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  9. Learning to live a contented life in the moment we are in is a tricky one for many people. It does not mean a lack of aspiration or dreams but being content in the present whilst dreaming of a fabulous exciting life (whatever that means to each of us) is something I do every day. I think this is the same concept as your description of brainwashing yourself to be content.

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  10. Good advice. I have to admit that I've been in a rut lately, but just the other day decided to do what Jo suggested, look at my area like a tourist. Tonight I'm going with friends to a new restaurant that serves Asian street food - whatever that is - just to give it a try.

    There are certain things I cannot do because of family responsibilities. But I'm adopting an idea from Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of Facebook. She lost her fairly young husband unexpectedly and was pining for the past and her life with her husband. So a friend told her, "If you can't have Option A, kick the s#%* out of Option B." So that is what I am trying to do, Option B, since there are things I'd really like to do, Option A, that are impossible right now. Hope this makes sense.

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  11. I love it! Great advice. (And I don't think it's harsh but then I'm a blunt kind of person.)

    To the email writer, how can your life be boring? If people are coming to your place to escape the cold, there must be so much to write about. Describe the place. It can't be just because of the weather people visit? Write about the French people, the Belgium couple, the dogs - what sort of dogs, what funny things do they do, the weather - is it English hot so an Australian would laugh and say "you think that's hot? that's not hot"? What do you eat? Drink? Talk about?

    Anybody's life can be worth a blog. You just have to sit down and start writing. Like Ilona, I love writing. The thing that stops me doing as much as I want is work. BTW, I pay nothing for my blog as I haven't met the maximum space. But I will pay when I reach that.

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    1. Actually wanting to shake someone for asking advice about blogging is *a bit* harsh in anyone's book. I get the feeling that this lady was wondering how her life would look to readers and whether a potential blog had legs. She wasn't trying to steal a persons identity, nor did she say *she* personally finds her life boring. She just said she will keep being a follower (i.e subscribed follower) until she makes her mind up. That is how I read it. Although Ilona's comments are very interesting to read it was a little harsh on the emailer who was actually giving her a compliment and asking good questions to someone with a successful blog.

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  12. Hello! I read & enjoy a lot of Frugal living websites,& this site is no different. Full of useful tips etc.,. However, the difference with your blog is it is almost about your good self & your frugal lifestyle, whereas a site such as "Confessions of a Bottom Feeder", or "Living on a shoestring budget", are informative & Non -personal. So people will look more at you & not so much about your frugal tips,hence the "Envy" of "Your" lifestyle..which is normal human behaviour(I am a Psychology student at Uni).Glad to speak,anyway, your blog as some good tips...keep up the good work.

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  13. I've stared planning my trip to Florida with one of my sisters; the other two were not invited and i let them know. (My husband, either.) We each have a daughter there and need to visit. Next year, i'll plan a trip to Ireland with a different sister who has a daughter living near Dublin. The year after, who knows? Maybe i'll plan a trip with the remaining sister to make things even. I've always wanted to travel, but it never happened what with raising kids and life, in general. My husband isn't too keen on traveling for long periods and i'm tired of always waiting. So, i'm going about doing what i want now and not feeling a bit bad about any of it. (My husband does not try to make me feel bad, BTW.)
    I think we all reach a certain age, different for all of us, where we figure out what makes us happy to get out of bed in the morning. At least, i hope we do….

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    1. Hi. Sounds like you've got exciting times ahead.

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  14. Thank you Ilona. I needed those words today. Love your blog. Cheers Deb

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  15. that was nice that you explained how to blog, how easy / cheap it is to get on with it. (I am not planning to blog, but...I for one had no idea it could be that easy/cheap. Good to know.)

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  16. I have always enjoyed your posts/suggestions , whether on your activities, or the odd time you made "comments", as today..

    I notice it fired up a few commenters....Well, maybe that is good too, as it gives them something to stir their brain cells, which is usually a good thing, grin..

    for myself, I am coping with a fair bit, and money is not plentiful right now, so when I need to "perk" things up / "cheer things up", etc, I look for easy things which are free or extremely cheap..Suprisingly, they often work well..

    -if I am in a shop and a clerk has done a good or extra good job of helping me, I make a point of finding out the name, and hunting down the manager..Then I mention how helpful/efficient/courteous etc the clerk was, and ask they put a commendation etc in their file... ----I have done this hundreds of times in fifteen yrs, and ALWAYS left feeling incredibly cheered/uplifted/etc.. The manager (to this day) has always been shocked I hunted them down to give a commendation (not a complaint), and I (have to admit) have sometimes felt smug at their shock, and I have always left feeling thrilled at the good benefit to the clerk.

    -when I am out and about, and notice someone looks very down/having a tough time, I try to look for something to compliment them on, to give them a "lift"..(beautiful blouse, have been looking for something similar, etc)

    -noticing a young mother with three young/babies/chidren in tow, look aghast as she realises that shopping carts now require a coin or token (newly in effect) and watching the security guard stand and stare at her...I popped a coin in and offered her the cart, with a Merry Christmas

    -was out and about, and had packed a lunch...not something everyone would eat..Can of sardines with zip top, crackers, drink, water, apple...As I stopped for gas, man sitting on curb outside convenience store asked me if I could spare any change, he was hoping to purchase a few slices of peperoni (sold by slices in container inside) as he was hungry..I offered him my lunch if he would like. (plastic fork included), and he eagerly accepted, and I could see him eating it as I drove off

    etc...

    these types of things have always ended in cheering me up, and making me think long on other humans (and less of myself and what I am coping with).. All good.

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  17. okay, I am a bit of a ham...
    but
    " If people are coming to your place to escape the cold, there must be so much to write about."

    if there are folks coming regular, and you really are at a loss to "spice things up", next time they come,
    -plan a surprise for them
    -great them in costume (traditional to area, or something more frivolous, etc)
    -plan a welcome gift for them
    -purchase a teddy bear or such, to send home with them next time, ask them to take snaps of teddy wherever they go, and send teddy travel pics to you
    -ask the folks if they might suggest a holiday place close to where they live, go travel, and take them for supper

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  18. Well said! I love your straight talking which sometimes people need. I was in London yesterday with two friends hopping on and off
    buses, walking, seeing the sights - it was a great day. On one bus we met a disabled lady in a wheelchair getting about all on her
    own on her way to see an Art Exhibition. We got chatting and she told us how she sings in a choir. Her disability does not stop her
    doing what she wants to - a lesson for us all here! SueM

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  19. I have to agree with Deborah W and say that your response to your emailers was "a bit harsh". I think all our lives can become a bit routine and mundane at times and as we reflect we do look to others for how they go about things. Looking at the 'negatives' is not always a bad thing. They can be the starting point for making changes. So good on your emailer for voicing his/her thoughts with you. Can I also say that for some people depressed feelings are not easy to overcome with a 'pick up your socks and get on with it' approach. These are deep thoughts and feelings too often cannot be simply 'willed' away. Please be mindful and think about where people might be coming from. Harsh comments can be very hurtful and damaging. I have to admit that I read your blog for 'inspiration' and because I think your are funny lady not scared to be a little different from the rest of us. That is your appeal, you do things your way! As I approach retirement I too struggle with thoughts about how we will manage financially in the future and am concerned that we will become isolated from our friends as they are retiring well healed and are enjoying overseas travel, nights out for dinner and the theatre and so forth. Even as a working couple we can't join in with many of the activities and we certainly won't be able to in our retirement. We find that when we decline invitations we offend and the invites thin out. Yes we have to find different friends who enjoy simpler (and cheaper) pleasures and we will but it still hurts to realise that how much easier it is to belong in our modern society when your wallet is full and free flowing. Fortunately for us, we enjoy each others company, like gardening and walking and exploring the world around us. I have faith in the simple pleasures of life and for that reason enjoy your 'kindred spirit' writings.

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    1. Hi. When you decline invitations tell the person why you can't go, that you can't afford it. If people abandon you because you don't have as much money as they do, they are not real friends. I know people that look down their noses at me, but I also have real friends who are wealthy. You won't become isolated unless you want to be. There are plenty of new friends out there.

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  20. Goodmorning, I don't have a blog but have kept a doc journal for a long time, I use the journal to record, well, daily life occurences, some joyful some difficult. I've considered for a while doing it as a Blog. One question, with, I'm sure, thousands and thousands of blogs out there, how do readers find you? I've read your blog for years and it's one of my favorites
    Virginia in Tennessee

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  21. I was a little shocked at the strength of the post, so much so I only skimmed after a while, part of reading others lives is to experience a different way of live to your own and perhaps pick up a few ideas. That said as a blogger u must get fed up with people asking same or intrusive questions, people must think why bother looking or researching if someone is there to answer my question by the time I next go online, bit of laziness on their part I think. I am appreciative of reading blogs if people choose to write, but don't ask questions really. I was recently let go from a job with two hours notice I had a week but they hadn't realised I was on holiday, my cornea ripped and they let me go on health reasons, as it had healed this was rather mean, I was back working within a week however. I have just booked my first ever holiday alone completely in middle of nowhere, open up French doors and u can see countryside for miles, it will be beautiful, so yes bad things happen, but we plod on, I like the poster who said, if plan a is not an option put your strength in plan b. Keep up the good work ilona Julie t

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